The Scene: This weekend, while watching Say Yes to the Dress: Beverly Hills. One of the brides was “the only Indian signed with Vivid” (she was in adult entertainment).
Me: “She doesn’t even look Indian.”
Mom: “She must mean she’s from India.”
Me: “…Yeah, that’s what Indians are, people from India.”
Mom: shakes her head at me like I’m an idiot – “And the other Indians. The ones who live here.”
Me: “Mom, the only INDIANS that live here are people from India, you’re thinking of Native Americans.”
Mom: “Well they USED to be Indians.”
Me: “They were never Indians, that was incorrect. They’ve always been Native Americans and Indians are people from India.”
Mom: “Stop trying to be all high and mighty and politically correct! They were Indians! Like cowboys and Indians?! a-woo-woo-woo-woo! You know!” (she started making “Indian” noises here, like the Lost Boys in Peter Pan.)
Me: “Okay, just stop. Stop it. You’re wrong and I’m right end of story.”
Fast-forward to yesterday in the car with my mom. She was describing the Sunday Drives they would go on when she was a kid.
Mom: “We would drive all the way up the highway and then turn around, and there used to be this place called the Deerskin Trading Post, and that was always a popular stop for us. They had a lot of Western stuff, moccasins, jewelry. I suppose YOU would call it ‘Native American’.”